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Randy

Age of Ultron Predictions

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Katie and Randy here! (This article was written before Katie stepped down, as mentioned in the latest podcast.It just took a while to get posted due to some delays, editing, finding pictures and links, etc.)We're going to take a little break from all the Uncanny X-Men strategy talks and character reviews, and look ahead.Today we wanted to look at a few of the characters that we might see in the upcoming Marvel Dice Masters: Age of Ultron expansion set. We've already had news that Ultron, Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers version, formerly Ms. Marvel), and Phil Coulson of Marvel Movies fame will be in the set. Also, according to this link, Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, Black Widow, Thor, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Daredevil, and Kang will be included as well. So we want to look at who else might be joining them.
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Now, the real question becomes: are we looking at the comic book event, Age of Ultron, or the announced Avengers: Age of Ultronmovie that will be out next year? Weare going to focus on the comic event, as that seems to have been what they did with the Avengers vs. X-Men set. Uncanny X-Men didn't follow a specific event the way Heroclix has done in the past with expansions like Fear Itself, but we seem to be heading back that direction with Age of Ultron.
So, we're going to talk about who we think might show up in the upcoming set! Keep in mind this is entirely speculation, but Katie and I are also rating the likelihood these characters are to make it to the set. (1-10)
I think it goes without saying, but there are going to be spoilers for the Age of Ultron event in this article. It's been well publicized that the AoU comic event is unlikely to influence the movie beyond names, so never fear you'll ruin the fun of the movie... or maybe you will, it's not like we work at Marvel. But, keep in mind, a lot of the heavy-hitters in the AoU comic storyline are not owned by Marvel Cinema.


Ant-Man

Katie: Well, my first thought (after Ultron!) as to who we might expect in the upcoming Age of Ultron set is Hank Pym, Ultron's 'father'. A majority of the Age of Ultron event (after the disaster has struck) is given over to the idea of going back in time and murdering Hank Pym to stop him from ever building Ultron. Because that worked so well all the other times it's been tried, right guys? Although Hank only appears in a few of the issues (largely when he's getting murdered, and then again when he's getting un-murdered), it's impossible totalk about'Ultron' withoutmentioning 'Hank Pym' in the same breath. We already have an Ant-Man die, so I think it's a no-brainer that we'll see this guy next time.
Katie's likelihood of him being in the set: 9
Randy: I completely agree that Hank Pym is likely. However, I'm not positive that he will just be a reuse of the Ant-Man die. I wouldn't be surprised if we get a "Hank Pym" character card with new dice to go along with it. We might even see one of his other alter-egos: Giant-Man or Yellowjacket. One thing I'm keeping in mind with these predictions is that we could get characters that appear in the AoU comic event, but they may not reflect their AoU appearance. I agree that you can't have Ultron without Hank Pym. I will rank him slightly lower than Katie, just because I think there are other "for sure" characters from this event, and since Ant-Man is already in Dice Masters, they could use that as an excuse not to include him.
Randy's likelihood of Hank Pym being in this set: 8
Katie: Good point about a Yellowjacket or Giant-Man variant for Pym, they did something similar with Phoenix and Marvel Girl, so if they wanted to keep Pym, but ditch the Ant-Man die, that's a definite possibility.


This is where "future future"
Wolverinegoes back in time to stop
"past future"Wolverine from killing
Hank Pym bykilling.... himself.
Wolverine
Randy: Perhaps Katie and I should not be reviewing this character, as we share the same opinion. We had a common, rare, super rare in AvX, an OP Event prize in AvX, three starter versions in the UXM starter, a UXM uncommon, AND an already teased UXM OP Prize card. Nine. Nine versions of one character through two sets. We don’t need another Wolverine. However.... he was an important character in the storyline, travelling back in time to kill Hank Pym, then again traveling back in time to un-kill Hank Pym. My only request, is that we get some kind of alternate color scheme. either the brown and orange late '80s costume, his black and gray X-Force costume, or just wearing jeans and a leather jacket Hugh Jackman style. I don't want another Wolverine....
Randy's liklihood of Wolverine being in this set: 9
Katie: My Wolverine anti-bias is well known! We are up to our ears in Wolverines already, and we just don't need more, but he's actually the key player in Age of Ultron after, well, Ultron. The event itself actually lead up to some of the things that brought us the (almost certainly temporary) Death of Wolverine comics storyline, as well. Sadly, unlike Jean or Hank, I don't see a lot of possibilities for a different die or character variant for this guy, he's pretty much always been Wolverine. This, more than anything, makes me sad about how likely we are to see this guy in the set. If we could at least have a new die, I'd be less sad. I have to give this one a 10, because Wolverine is big money and no one wants to leave him out when you have an excuse to throw him in.
Katie's likelihood: 10


Sue Storm
Katie: If my anti-Wolverine bias is well known, I think my pro-Sue Storm bias is probably legendary at this point. Wolverine's partner in crime for the killing and un-killing of Hank Pym during the Age of Ultron event was Sue Storm. Caught up in a wave of grief over the death of her family (you know, those guys who already have dice), she accompanied Wolverine on his stab happy mission into the past and returned to an altered future... you'd think one of the founding members of the Future Foundation would know better than to muck around with time...
Still, I think she's very likely to show up, we haven't seen her yet, her absence is obvious, and honestly I will cry if she's not in a set where she's probably the third or fourth most prominent character of the event, especially if Wolverine makes it in.
Katie's likelihood of Sue Storm being in this set: 9
Randy: I absolutely agree. It's a crime if the Invisible Woman is not in this set. Not only does she need to make the cut for the sake of the AoU story, but simply for the sake of the Dice Masters game as a whole. The only, and I mean ONLY, way that I can see not including her is if they plan on releasing a Fantastic Four themed set after Age of Ultron. Short of that, there's no excuse not to include Sue Storm.
Randy's likelihood: 9


Hawkeye
Randy: He has a small role early on in the event rescuing Spider-Man from a couple of villains. But Hawkeye is picking up steam in mainstream popularity. Before, he was a niche character with a cult following. Now, he's in the Avengers movies and his self-titled comic series has been getting stellar reviews. And like i said, he already had a cult following before those things. As far as game mechanics go, Ithink there's a variety of ways to showcase his trick shots, and shooting multiple arrows at once, and his resourcefulness. We didn't get him last set, so he we aren't on "Hawkeye overload" like some other characters. I am very optimistic about his appearance, despite him having a small role in the comic event.
Randy's likelihood: 9
Katie: He also had a cover during the event as well! I have to say, the art on those covers in the earlier part of the event were very beautiful, even if they slacked off a bit in the later parts. I kind of hate variant covers, but some of them were excellent. Hawkeye does have almost no role in the actual event, but I'd say it's actually his presence in the Marvel movies that makes him more likely to show up. The Hawkeye (vol. 4) comic by Matt Fraction has had more than a few delays, and I do think the hype there has died down a bit since the onset of the billion times reprinted #1. He's definitely a cult favorite, but I think we can't ignore that the movies are driving a lot of the brand now. Still, I'm not sure he's set to make a return to the Age of Ultron set, especially since we have quite a few characters I could see returning. Let's leave room for some newer blood, I hope.
Katie's likelihood: 7






Spider-Man
Katie: Speaking of that daring rescue in the early part of the Age of Ultron event, we also have Spider-Man. I will forever be amused by the fact that the Age of Ultron comic was so delayed by late Bryan Hitch art that Spider-Man became 'Superior' in the meantime, creating some serious dissonance when he's acting like Peter Parker in the main event, but DocOck in the solo books. Either way, Spider-Man shows up early along, and then falls into the background after everyone decides Let's Kill Pym. I give him a leg up on Hawkeye, because he's Spider-Man and constantly out-sells everyone else in the Marvel stable. I hope now that he's got almost the same amount of exposure as Wolverine in Dice Masters that he'll go away for a bit, though.
Katie's likelihood: 8
Randy: I love Spidey... but I'd prefer it if we didn't get another version of him this time around. He has one less card appearance than Wolverine, but that's still eight through two sets. I actually see this being the perfect time to skip Spider-Man. I mean, he's immensely popular, yea. But he didn't have a big role, we have enough different Spider-Mans already, and his appearance in AoU brings nothing new to the table for Dice Masters. Much like Wolverine though, if he does appear, I'm really hoping for a new costume or dice. You mentioned the issues with Doc Ock's Superior Spider persona. I could live with that. But my one argument against Spider-Man is this... "Are we really going to have Spider-Man, Wolverine, Captain America, and Iron Man in EVERY set?” I don't think so. And this is the time to skip Spidey. I am just not confident that Wizkids would agree with me.
Randy's likelihood: 7



Hammerhead
Randy: One of the villains that Hawkeye rescued Spider-Man from. He had a very small role in the event as a whole. His chances aren't good... but I'd like to entertain the idea for a moment. We don't have many villains like him so far in Dice Masters, where he is not much more than a regular guy, but can boss people around. His stats could probably be 3A/2D at best. He's a mob boss that could work excellent with some sidekick manipulation. He has had some other media exposure through various cartoon series and video games. Not everyone knows who Hammerhead is, but I think casual Spider-Man fans who remember the cartoon from the '90s recognize him. It's a stretch for sure, but I think there's a chance because he could offer something new.
Randy's likelihood: 3
Katie: This set is looking a little light on villains, on account of the main event being, yaknow, Ultron.Only Morgan LeFey makes any sort of additional villainous appearance in the event (with a side-appearance by Doom in some of the spin-offs), but, then again, we had so many villains in the Uncanny X-Men set, I think trimming it down, seeing a few less villains this time around, might be good. Still, Hammerhead is an interesting choice, and as you mentioned maybe a lighter-cost and stat die, but he's just not my immediate preference. I'd rather throw a shout-out to some of the HYDRA villains from Captain America 2 if we're going to have more villains in the set.
Katie's likelihood: 3



Luke Cage
Katie: The original Power Man. Luke's an excellent character, and I've loved him for a good amount of time. He's hopefully going to experience a bit of a resurgence in the TV fanchises Marvel is working on right now, and he's probably one of the more visible, so called,'street level' heroes. His part in Age of Ultron is on the small side, but he brings the heroes of the day some vital information about Ultron that helps them to decide on their plan to kill Hank Pym. He fake sells out She-Hulk to get face to face with Ultron, and then actually manages to bite it. In my opinion, Luke Cage is a must if we're not going to have a 'street level'set om the near futurewith a focus on the Hell's Kitchen heroes, maybe some of the Young Avengers. I'd love a Kate Bishop Hawkeye, but I'm probably biased (she has a great name). I'm not sure we'll get him, though.
Katie's likelihood: 6
Randy:I really like the Hero for Hire. I know he's been around for a long time, but I never thought he was cool until he became a member of the New Avengers following the events of Avengers: Disassembled. I agree with Katie on every reason she listed above. He's a semi important character in the big picture of Marvel heroes and with a Netflix series on the horizon I think his popularity is about to increase. He didn't have a long-standing role in AoU, but he was pretty important to the series of events. Like other's we've mentioned, he would be new to Dice Masters. I think that will be enough to have him included.
Randy's liklihood: 7



Angela
Randy: Wow… I would LOVE to see Angela in this game.
Brief comic history lesson: in mid 90’s a lot of comic writers and artists got fed up with Marvel and DC and started their own brand of creator owned comics called Image. Some popular Image comics of the 90’s were Spawn, Savage Dragon, and Witchblade. The main appeal of Image was that the creators would retain the rights to their created characters. Angela appeared in the pages of Spawn, and became popular enough to even star in her own self-titled mini-series. Angela was co created by Seth McFarlane and Neil Gaiman (two of the biggest names in comics ever).
Years later, Gaiman went to Marvel, and wanted to bring his created character, Angela, with him. Since the whole groundwork for Image Comics was that creators would retain the rights to their creations, this was possible. McFarlane also had claim to Angela as co-creator, and didn’t want one of his characters being used by another comic company. Gaiman won the legal battle, and gained full custody of Angela.
So, at the very end of the AoU series, it is shown that all of the back and forth time travel ripped a whole in time and space, pulling Angela from another timeline. Back to Dice Masters. It would be a bold step for Wizkids to include a newly acquired character in this game, but I want to see bold. Angela has been running around with the Guardians of the Galaxy and has ties to Asgard. It was revealed that she is Thor’s sister. Yes, sister. But ended up being banished years ago. As convoluted as that history is… her first Marvel appearance came at the end of Age of Ultron, so that makes her a candidate, however unlikely, to make her appearance.
Randy's likelihood: 2
Katie: Well, at least Randy has a lot to say on the topic, because I only really became aware of Angela during the Age of Ultron event! I never read Spawn, although I've read more than a few of Gaimen's comic and novel properties over the years. He's definitely one of those writers who managed to start in comics and actually become a name out in the 'real' world.
Given her new retconning into the continuity as Thor's sister, I think it would be interesting to see what they were able to do with this. Could she be a better version of Thor that we hate on so much in the podcast?! Her ties to the Guardians of the Galaxy also put her at the forefront of the hot property of the summer, even if she didn't appear in the movie, and opens up the first real possibility of a new affiliation in the form of the GotG if she did get included. Still, I think it's a bit of a pipe dream to think she'll make it into the set.
Katie's likelihood: 2


Wasp
Katie: I was pretty sad to see that we got Ant-Man in the Uncanny X-Men set, but no Jan! Where's my Wasp? Jan's role in Age of Ultron mostly revolved around the time after when Wolverine and Sue Storm went back in time and killed Hank Pym, but before they de-killed him;she appeared in an alternate future as Captain Marvel in a world with a massive magic/technology divide. Comics, everyone. I doubt she'll make an appearance as Captain Marvel (although technically she could), but I think it's more likely we'll see her Wasp form. As it stands, after Uncanny X-Men, she's now the only founding Avenger who doesn't have her own card and die. Like Hank Pym as Ant-Man, Giant-Man, and Yellowjacket, Jan also has the ability to claim the Giant-Girl moniker through some diffrent alternate universe shenanigans.
Jan also has the misfortune of being the focus of some really weird Oedipal stuff from Ultron in the past, so as much as I'm loathe to mention it, she has a bit of a relationship with Ultron above and beyond being in the Age of Ultron comic, just like Hank Pym does. All in all, I think her chances are good, but I said that about Sue Storm in Uncanny X-Men, too.
Katie's likelihood: 8
Randy: This is our first REAL difference. I understand her importance in Avengers history, and the obvious ties to Hank Pym and Ultron... But I don't see her making her way in to this set. I think in terms of female Avengers, there are so many more interesting characters that Janet Van Dyne/Pym. I honestly had to look her up onWikipediato see what she had been up to lately. She hasn't been on the forefront of any Marvel event, and has been relegated to a side character in many of her recent appearances. I think the Wasp is falling out of relevancy.
Randy's likelihood: 4
Katie: Boooo, boooo! More seriously though, she's on a proper Avengers team right now, so I'd love to see her brought in, especially since I'm worried she won't make it into the movies at all for some strange reason.


Keep it clean Moon Knight. This is a family-friendly site.
Moon Knight
Katie: He was a fairly minimal player in the event itself, teaming up with Black Widow and Red Hulk to deliver a deus ex machina to the team of post-apocalyptic superheroes in the form of a warning from Nick Fury. Moon Knight is currently filling in a role of a bit of a 'white themed Batman' right now in the comics, although he has a decidedly more mythological origin. He's not super popular, he's not around in many comics, and he generally doesn't get a lot of love even in some of the additional TV shows and such.
Still, he was in the event for a few issues, he's served time as a villain and a hero, he's even been a Secret Avenger... so I guess this is just me screaming out for a few more esoteric options in our decks, like Randy's Hammerhead item. I doubt we'll see him, sadly, but I would love a few more "out there" options.
Katie's likelihood: 2
Randy: I've always felt like he could be really awesome, given the right circumstances. But I've just never read a story where I've walked away thinking, "Wow, Moon Knight is totally B.A." A magical white Batman is the most simple, accurate description I've ever heard. I would be pretty excited to see him in the next set, mainly because I view him making the final cut as an underdog winning one for the little guy. He's a new character I'd love to see... but is he likely? Nope.
Randy's likelihood: 2


IronFist

Randy: Unlike some other background character's we've talked about, I think Iron Fist has a pretty good chance of appearing. He's best buddies with Luke Cage who I think will make the cut. I would be just as shocked at Luke Cage without Iron Fist as we all were at 3/4 of the Fantastic Four. Also, he had a very significant role in Avengers vs X-Men and should have appeared in that set. They can make up for that mistake here.
Randy's likelihood: 6
Katie: I agreeIron Fistwas a strangely overlooked character for the Avengers vs. X-Men set, especially with the inclusion of a character like Nova whose participation was pretty much finished after the first issue, if I recall right. He's likely to make some appearances over in the Marvel Netflix series, as well, and he's just all around a pretty fun character.
Katie’s likelihood: 5

So, What do you guys think? Sound off in the comments section below if you agree, disagree, or want to suggest another character to the conversation. As always, roll on.
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Comments

  1. Devin Smithwick imported's Avatar
    I wish that Ares would show up and also Crimson Dynamo. And what of Captain Britain. I understand them wanting to use AOU as a story arc to draw people in but if they could maybe include some much needed (desired) heroes, then I feel the game would be a Marvel Universe game , and not so much the AVX, or AOU. But Uncanny X-men , now that a great expansion. Because its a series/group. Then I do understand how they were going for the Head to head competitive aspect to draw in. It would just be nice if the decks were similar ones to the VS systems decks.
  2. Horatio imported's Avatar
    Let's run thru what we know, or think we know:

    This set will include:
    1. Thor
    2. Black Widow
    3. Iron Man
    4. Hulk
    5. Captain America
    6. Rocket Racoon
    7. Groot
    8. Captain Marvel
    9. Daredevil
    10. Kang
    11. Phil Coulson
    12. Ultron

    If there are 10-12 repeats like in UXM, then since there are 5 confirmed repeats already, that's 5-7 additional repeat characters. That's 2 women and 2 villains. Also probably 5 Avengers and 0 X-Men. If there's 38 characters like in AvX, then that's 26 spots left. However, I seem to remember on the promo announcement back in September, they said 40 all new character dice. Not sure if they count a different color Cap die as an "all new character die" but taking them at their word, I suppose we could be at a 45 character count with no additional repeats.

    In any case, sticking with 38 total characters with about 10 or so repeats, here's a purely speculative, totally biased, break-down of the 26 unannounced characters:

    18-20 new
    5-7 repeats

    NEW:
    Invisible Woman
    Luke Cage
    Iron Fist
    Rachel Summers
    Banshee
    Havok
    Red Skull
    Sebastian Shaw
    Thanos
    Jubilee
    Dazzler
    Longshot
    Ka-Zar
    Amanda Sefton
    Selene
    Lady Deathstrike
    Avalanche
    Wasp
    Spider-Woman
    Polaris
    Callisto

    REPEAT:
    Beast
    Nightcrawler
    Rogue
    Marvel Girl
    Colossus

    In case you can't tell I want more women featured in Dice Masters. There are too few and given the fact that both Avengers, X-Men and the FF have all been led by women and that on multiple occasions the teams have been majority or even all women, it's high time we even the score within Dice Masters.

    On Invisible Woman, if she's not included in AOU, it's a crime EVEN IF she's also in a FF centered set. (which would be unbelievable by the way - so many possibilities for that one).
  3. Randy imported's Avatar
    Nice. I was hoping I'd get people to post their wish lists... here's mine. Also totally - biased 28 remaining characters. I'm sticking with the belief of 40 characters total.

    Angela
    Ant-Man (Scott Lang)
    Beast
    Boomerang
    Bullseye
    Cable
    Captain America
    Carnage
    Deadpool
    Domino
    Dr. Doom
    Drax
    Electro
    Elektra
    Gamora
    Hank Pym
    Havok
    Invisible Woman
    Iron Fist
    Luke Cage
    Nick Fury
    Nova
    Rogue
    She-Hulk
    Star Lord
    Super Skrull
    Wasp
    Wolverine

    Just realized I didn't include new actions... going to say... Fantasticar and Quinjet. That would replace 2 of my characters, but I don't feel like going back up and cutting out two characters.

    I like your list, I think it was a little too X-Men heavy though, coming right after the Uncanny X-Men set.